Woohoo you are interested in wakesurfing! Getting behind the boat with this unique board the first time can be intimidating, especially when you see that it has no bindings. What the fudge!?
No worries, I’ve got you covered. My fellow Shred Babe Alie and I are pros at getting newbies up and surfing the first day out. In fact, we have had 3 people get up on their very first try this season even! Two of whom have no background of wakeboarding, which generally helps.
First, lets do a quick rundown of boards. I will be later write a post about surfing styles digging deeper into this subject. For now you just need to know there are three styles of boards. There is the surf, the hybrid and the skim board. A large surf style board or hybrid are the easiest to learn on as they provide greater stability for beginning riders.
Let’s dig in!
Now, there are many ways to stand up on a surf. I am going to show you my personal preference and it seems to be a fool proof method so far! But to each their own style. I won’t judge if you choose to do one of the what I deem “harder” ways. Follow these step by step instructions below:
Step 1: Find an awesome crew! Also be sure you have a boat that can throw a wake big enough for surfing, or be able to rig it to do so.
Step 2: Figure out which foot you will have forward. Generally, if you are right handed your left foot will be forward but this is not always true. You can determine this by doing the “push test”. Have someone give you a shove from behind, whichever foot you catch yourself on will be forward on the board.
Step 3: Sit in the water with your feet on top of the board and rope in hand flexing your feet with your toes up to the sky.
Step 4: The driver will put the boat in gear giving you a slight pull in the water. Use one hand to push the edge of the board closest to you under the water. You will now have the board pushing to your feet and be in a crouched position in the water. Return your hand to the handle and yell “Go!”. I prefer this method because when people use their heals to dig the board underwater they generally end up falling backwards when beginning.
Step 5: USE YOUR LEGS to stand up. It is a common misconception you are using your biceps to pull you out. Let the boat do it’s job in pulling you out of the water, you just need to stand!
Step 6: Once you are up use your heels and the pull of the boat to get onto the outside of the wake. NOTE: Which side of the wake you are on will be determined by which foot you have forward. If you ride with your left foot forward you will be going to the left side of the boat. If you ride with your right foot forward you will cruise on over to the right.
Step 7: Now that you are outside of the wake you will climb up the rope pulling yourself closer to the boat and into the heart of the wave finding that “sweet spot” where the wave will begin to push your momentum forward rather than the boat pulling you with the rope. You can determine this when you have consistent slack in the rope. PRO TIP: Your feet may not be in quite the right position. Use your toes to scoot your feet ever so gently into a comfortable position. Below is a sample of my stance.
Step 8: TOSS THE ROPE! Once you are riding with consistent slack in the rope you are ready to toss it! This may not happen your first few times riding. Don’t get discouraged, once you find that “sweet spot” you will know and be able to find it again very quickly. PRO TIP: If you are uncomfortable or find yourself losing your balance when tossing the rope into the boat you can drop it to the side and your awesome crew will pull it in for you!
Step 9: Ride that wave and have fun!
Was that a lot of reading or are you more of a visual person? No worries, I have a handy dandy gif I made just for you! Meet one of my bests and fellow Shred Babe Alie for your demo:
I would love to hear if this helped you or you found some other useful tips. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know!
Surf’s up and I’m out, good luck!